October 11, 2005

As watches goooooo, it wasn't anything out of the ordinary.

Actually, it was.

I broke the glass face of my watch while filing papers just now. I've been wearing that watch almost continuously for 12 years and I tend to forget that it's on me, so when I leaned my left arm against the metal wall of the filing cabinet to make some space for new files, I wasn't really thinking about the combination of metal, glass, and pressure. When I pulled out my hand to see what that crackly noise had been, voila, my round watch had reinvented itself as two half-moons, one slightly crescent and one slightly gibbous.

By my count this is at least the third time I've found myself sans watch face. It fell out once, and I found it two days later in the kitchen and stuck it back in. It fell out again, so I glued it down with Krazy Glue. At this juncture I'd be tempted to get a new watch, with either a plastic face or better glue, were it not for two things. One, it's twelve years old and I'm only 24. I saved up a year's worth of allowance in junior high to buy it from my favorite New-Age mystical crap catalog. Two, and this will explain why it was in a New-Age mystical crap catalog, it's usually the weirdest watch that any given spectator has ever seen. It's one of those graphic digital watches that shows the time by displaying something -- lines, dots, alligators, whatever -- to mimic the positions of analog clock hands. In this case it's stars and moons. Yep. Stars and moons. And Saturn, and a comet, and some kind of radiating sun thing, and then the minutes in dorky square un-New-Agey numbers in the middle. All of this sits in the middle of the biggest, clunkiest, heavy dark grey watch casing that 1993 could come up with. The grey was paint, though, as I've discovered in the process of wearing it unevenly off. Aaaaand to make it even better, I've also worn out the original leather watchband and replaced it with a black plastic one made for something much sportier.

I could have summed up the entire foregoing paragraph by saying, "it's kind of old and strange," but I don't think it would have been sufficient. Because now, you see, you'll have a much better picture of my weekend task, which is to find a jeweler who can be convinced to work on it. Really. Just try to imagine.

Posted by dianna at October 11, 2005 11:40 AM

"one slightly gibbous" - rejected alternate name of the band Death Cab for Cutie

Posted by: Erik at October 11, 2005 12:04 PM

*sniff* I can't imagine why. It's a perfectly good name; they just didn't fully appreciate it.

Posted by: Dianna at October 11, 2005 12:57 PM

There's a watch repair-person on University that I've gone to before. I could take it in sometime tomorrow if you'd like.

Posted by: Jacob at October 11, 2005 02:31 PM

I wonder if it's the same place that replaced my battery last time? When I went back to pick up my watch the guy in the shop handed it to me with a sheepish look and explained that he wasn't sure if it was working properly, because he couldn't get it to display the time. All it was showing was these weird star things.

That would be wonderfully helpful. You're not too busy with meetings and whatnot?

Posted by: Dianna at October 11, 2005 02:41 PM

Nope. Tomorrow is OK. Thursday is the killer.

Posted by: Jacob at October 11, 2005 02:43 PM

I must not Thursday. Thursday is the Jacob-killer. Thursday is the little death, snicker snicker.

OK. Thank you!

Posted by: Dianna at October 11, 2005 02:52 PM

Things I remember about the watch (and related business):

1. Us poring over that New-Age mystical crap catalog like we were gonna be tested on it later.
2. All the other things out of that catalog that I wanted to buy, none of which I can remember now but all of which I coveted fiercely at the time.
3. Me being insanely jealous that you could save your allowance for that watch, because as I recall, in the 6th grade your allowance was significantly higher than mine.
4. All the *other* stuff that you bought from the (insert genre here) crap catalog after saving your allowance. (Oh wow, I'm laughing kind of hard here.) Like... that American Girls dress, the one that was person-sized to match the dress you could buy for your American Girls doll named Amanda or Molly or Stephanie. Come to think of it, did you even have one of those dolls? Because I certainly didn't, and if you didn't either it would make the immense amount of time we spent poring over that catalog even more ludicrous than it already was. But damn did I want that teeny tiny winter coat, complete with fake-fur hood and muff. There were other purchases too, like... eight MILLION tiny erasers shaped like I can't even remember what, purchased from the Oriental Trading Company, that came in an enormous barrel and smelled like processed petroleum.

Speaking of all of this business, yesterday I was talking to my officemate about the stuff we read in elementary school. Thus I found myself trying to explain away what amounted to Harlequin romance novels for 5th graders- the ones whose titles were girls' first names, always set in some terribly tempestuous historical time like antebellum or on the Titanic, in which the girl was forced to choose between the handsome arrogant aristocrat and the dark mysterious interloper (and she always ended up with the guy she wasn't kissing on the cover of the book).

However, out of the things that I did in elementary school, this one was the easiest to describe. Because exactly how does one go about explaining a Pyot Farm?

I think this deserves its own entry.

Posted by: dara at October 14, 2005 07:29 AM

yes! yes! i totally read those harlequin romances for 5th graders too. i liked this one set in the civil war a lot. delicious.

Posted by: michele at October 14, 2005 10:27 AM

Sunfire! They were the Sunfire series. I'll have you know that those of us who were in Mrs Sandifer's class three years before you donated like half our collections to the classroom library. And then wanted them back.

I loved the Civil War one! And the WWI one, which I still think of whenever I hear people discuss hemlines. And the one that was like an Elizabeth Gaskell novel, where the girl worked in a cotton-weaving factory and everyone had respiratory problems. My favorite was the Gold Rush one where she had to dress like a boy. But of course, it would be.

(Hi Dara, BTW!)

Posted by: katie at October 15, 2005 12:37 PM

Now this is funny. I was going to comment that the gender-bending Gold Rush one was my favorite, and that really, no one should be surprised. But I bow before the even less surprising fact that it was Katie's favorite.

But but do you remember how the way she got found out was that she was conveniently falling off a cliff and the dashing young man who grabbed her to save her got a handful of boob? Gasp! Groping! That's never failed to endear books to me (cf. my other 5th-grade reading material).

Katie, I didn't even get my copies of those books from the classroom library, I got them straight from you. That explains why I remember the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory one (well, it basically was) and the Gold Rush one and the Civil War one, assuming that the Civil War one you're talking about was the one I'm thinking of, the only one I can recall to feature a heroine who wasn't white.

Wow, a comprehensive list. I'm getting kind of nostalgic reading this.

Posted by: Dianna at October 15, 2005 11:12 PM

My favorites are also remarkably unsurprising, as they are the two most rock-star-ish random-adventurish ones (no girls in hoop skirts riding side-saddle for me)-

The one on the Titanic (which I thought was called Laura, but turns out that it's actually Nicole) and the one... I think it's on a showboat, but it was mostly about a girl who was a circus performer.

I too loved that Shirtwaist one. I think that I might still not know what a shirtwaist is, but I know I really liked that one.

One thing that struck me when I went to that list- those covers are really dated, huh? I mean, I expected most of the chicks...er, ladies... to have blown-out teased curls a la Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle. I did not expect them to have those immobile mid-70s helmet-perms.

Also, speaking of gasp-inducing moments, I remember reading an R.L. Stine book that had the word 'shit" in it. Come to think of it, the whole thing was rather scandalous, because my tenuous grasp on this memory is pulling out a plot in which a couple goes to get an abortion, and when they come out everyone in the world has disappeared but them. Can that possibly be right?

(Hi Katie!)

Posted by: dara at October 16, 2005 09:23 AM

...clearly what I meant to say was it was a Christopher Pike book called "Whisper of Death". And there definitely was an abortion in it.

Oh WOW what was my life like before the Internet?

Posted by: dara at October 16, 2005 09:31 AM

Christopher Pike has a few different books where someone dies after having an abortion, or everyone disappears after someone has an abortion, or someone causes dinosaur-humans to kill their wheelchair-bound friends because they had an abortion.

In conclusion, Christopher Pike hates abortion. And witches.

Posted by: sean at October 16, 2005 12:05 PM

you were posting during the party?!?

doods, i'm making a pact with you. next time i am in a used bookstore i am finding one of these books. as god is my witness, i will never go hungry (for trash novels) again.

Posted by: michele at October 16, 2005 01:06 PM

Unfortunately, we ran out of steam for the party. Which is a shame, since I had been asking about the housewarming for so long.

But, as god is my witness, we will be at the Halloween Party. And we will be wearing bells.

Posted by: Jacob at October 16, 2005 01:18 PM

The question here arises whether god actually is Jacob's witness or not. I don't know if he's really the sort to show up in court and say, yeah, the other car should totally have stopped, it wasn't my boy's fault.

Posted by: Dianna at October 16, 2005 01:50 PM

God As My Witness

Bailiff: Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you...

God: Could I affirm it instead?

Posted by: sean at October 16, 2005 02:19 PM

i was talking to sean there, not you jacob.

but you should be ashamed nonetheless, it was an excellent party.

Posted by: michele at October 16, 2005 03:41 PM

I think we should both read (or, um, re-read) Christopher Pike's Final Friends trilogy. Because it is awesome, though there is no magic or demons or witchcraft.

I didn't post during the party, though I did once come back to my room to write down a joke I thought of. However, there was a pretty girl talking on the phone in there, so I stayed away from the computer. I am completely willing to be that nerdy, but not with an audience to my nerdery.

Posted by: sean at October 16, 2005 04:11 PM

ha ha ha! i need to learn the difference between 12pm and 12am.

Posted by: michele at October 16, 2005 04:36 PM